How to Get Your Dog to Listen to You

It could be frustrating when trying to teach your dogs some fun tricks or even basic commands to see that your pooch just won’t pay attention and do what you need them to do. Some dog owners have a difficult time getting their dogs to listen to them, and it can cause a lot of frustration on the part of the parent. In this article, we will explore some of the factors that contribute to your dog’s unwillingness to listen, as well as what you can do to better train them to do what you tell them to.

Physical Needs

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It is essential to consider whether or not all of their physical needs, physically speaking, are being met first and foremost. It is also necessary to find whether or not they are in their best physical health. If your dog is feeling any sort of physical pain or is feeling under the weather, they might not want to exert any effort toward working. They might be distracted because they need to go on a walk or even go to the bathroom before being able to focus on you. It also could be age contributing to the issue, which often means losing their hearing and sight. Maybe they even have dementia, which can make it particularly difficult for them to respond to commands.

Environmental Elements

In your dog’s environment, there could be something making them uncomfortable or otherwise distracting their attention from you. If this is the case, one of the best ways to get them to focus on you is going to be to get them far away from whatever is distracting them if that’s possible. Going forward, you can work up to various levels of distraction over time to desensitize them to it and help them better pay attention in the future. It might even be a real environmental issue that prevents them from listening, like wet grass stopping them from wanting to sit or asking your dog to perform a rollover on an uncomfortable, hard surface.  

Mental Concerns 

If your dog is feeling anxious, distressed, scared, or even ridiculously excited, they are less likely to be able to pay attention to you. Each dog has a different nature, it is also essential that you should know all their features, aware of their raising and training more, visit The Pets to know about dog’s behaviors and health. Much like with human beings, taking on new information and being trained for something can be challenging when we have other things on our minds. Like humans, dogs also seem to have times of the day where they are more likely to pay attention. Take notice of when your dog is in a better headspace and higher energy levels.

Communication Issues

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Perhaps one of the reasons your dog has a hard time listening to you is because you aren’t clearly communicating with him in the first place.

If you are repeatedly saying to your dog the same cue but do it in different ways each time, such as sitting down and standing up, it might confuse them. It is for this reason that many dog trainers prefer to use clickers because there is no confusion in the sound that sounds the same every single time. It could come down to the fact that your dog isn’t stubborn, just not understanding you the way you thought he was. 

Ways to Get Your Dog to Listen

Once you’ve determined that your dog is not listening to you, you can try different steps to get them to change their ways.

1. Breaking Tasks Down

It could be that you are asking too much of your dog at once. It is better if you break it down into small steps. For instance, teaching them to roll over might first work better by teaching them to lie down on command, and then play dead. Then, you can work on getting them to roll over. Just giving a blanket command that encompasses too many things at once could overwhelm them until they can learn the different pieces of the task and perform them all at once.

2. Take a Break

Your dog might feel overwhelmed or tired, which could make it hard for them to concentrate. Also, if a dog is too excited and distracted, taking a break might be the route to take. If you bring a dog back into it and still don’t want to listen, the training might have to be over for the day.

3. Better Rewards

It’s essential to make the reward for performing the command worth it to the dog. You’ll need to give dogs something more exciting than digging the hole in the yard or chasing a squirrel for them to feel incentivized enough to do it. 

4. Give More Training

The problem could lie in the fact that your dog is not ready for the task you are setting them up for. Training takes time, and reward and repetition are key. Put in more effort and use the tips offered above to do your best work.

5. Management

If all else fails, it might just come down to acceptance on your part. More than likely, there are just going to be things that you aren’t able to fully train them for. It could be true that your dog just simply will never be good with dogs, or they will forever get on the kitchen counters no matter how hard you try. In that case, you just manage the environment as best as you can. For instance, avoid dog parks or muzzling them when they go out, and keep them away from kitchen counters using baby gates.

Getting your dog to listen to you is a rewarding experience, and it can also keep them safer when out in public.

Have any tricks of your own? We’d love to hear them! Share how you get your dog to listen to you in the comments below.

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